No more hammer time: bricks are new emergency tool on Chinese buses

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 June, 2013, 9:56am
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

"In case of emergency, break window to escape", bus riders in a Hubei city are told - except they will not have the little hammers to break the glass.

Thousands of hammers have gone missing this year and will be replaced with bricks, said the municipal company handling public transport in Xiangyang, in central China's Hubei province. 

The company said the plan to use ordinary bricks is an effort to avoid more theft, said a report in the local daily Chutian Kuaibao on Monday. 

Xiangyang is not the only Chinese city that has had to replace emergency hammers on public buses.

Hubei's capital Wuhan found 5,000 emergency hammers missing during an inspection last month. The city’s public transport contractor responded by installing alarms with the hammers, the Changjiang Daily reported

Cities in the Ningxia region and Anhui province also reported missing hammers. 

Xiamen in southeastern Fujian province said it would install explosive devices on the windows of public buses to prevent passengers from being trapped in an emergency. Earlier this month, 47 people died in an arson attack on a public bus in the picturesque coastal city. Many passengers had been trapped, and hammers to break the windows were missing.